Scott Speedman

Scott Speedman Doesn't Need a Second Heartthrob Era

The first one never ended.

It’s 11 a.m. Scott Speedman time when we’re scheduled to meet on Zoom, and I’m not sure if we’re going cameras on or off. Everyone has a different benchmark for what they consider to be early, so I opt to enter with a black screen. He does the opposite. “Hey! Are we doing video?” he asks once his iPhone connects — and yes, of course, so I join. He’s unfazed and remarkably chill, like I’ve just called up his unflappable Grey’s Anatomy character IRL.

Speedman is lounging on the couch in his L.A. abode, with his beloved dog lying by his side in the August sun. I wasn’t sure if he knew what he signed up for with this interview, so I took a few seconds to explain that we’d chat about his career (he starred in Lena Dunham’s Sharp Stick and alongside Kristen Stewart this year in addition to closing out the final season of TNT’s Animal Kingdom and bidding farewell to Netflix’s You), then go into a lighting round. I’d ask him some random questions, and he’d share whatever came to mind first. That could push any celebrity to hang up the phone these days, but Speedman was down for the ride, despite being just a little nervous. “A lightning round is terrifying,” he jokes.

Scott Speedman

Kevin Sinclair

His go-with-the-flow vibe is likely a result of coming from humble beginnings growing up in Toronto — and the fact that he never really meant to become an actor. It just kind of happened.

Speedman originally had dreams of being a professional swimmer; he even went to a school for talented athletes. But after a neck injury, he had to leave the sport and picked up an interest in acting. Then, the universe did its thing.

Anyone who lived in Toronto during the ‘90s and ‘00s has fond memories of CityTV’s original Speaker’s Corner, myself included. The half-hour weekly series gave a chance to just about anyone who was willing to pay $1 (otherwise known as a loonie in Canada) to share whatever was on their mind on national TV, if their clip actually aired.

Luckily for then-18-year-old Speedman, his did — and it landed him an audition for the role of Robin in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever.

“I could barely string two words together at that time,” he laughs. “I was in between dropping out of school — barely hanging on at school, and hanging out with friends. I was actually on my way out of town and this voice in the back of my head was like, ‘Just go, drop in and do that real quick.’ So, I did; it was one of those spur-of-the-moment things. I was actually stuck in a traffic jam. I said, ‘Fuck it, let’s go do it.’”

He didn’t end up getting the part in Batman, but little ol’ Speaker’s Corner gave the soon-to-be star enough visibility to help him land some guest and recurring roles in a few Canadian series. His big break came when he got a call about a brand-new series called Felicity, which was set to premiere in 1998. And we all know what happened next. He played Ben Covington (a love interest for Keri Russell’s titular character on the hit WB show, which eventually divided viewers into Team Ben and Team Noel, Felicity’s other love interest, played by Scandal’s Scott Foley) and got on a rocketship straight to ‘90s heartthrob status.

I think my heartthrob status expired ... maybe a decade ago.

Fast-forward to 2022 and Speedman’s definitely still got it. His latest role on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Dr. Nick Marsh, Meredith Grey’s latest love interest (and arguably most convincing since Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd), proves it. But not if you ask him. “I think my heartthrob status expired ... maybe a decade ago,” he says.

His Instagram feed tells a different story. There are snapshots of his daughter Pfeiffer Lucia, whose home birth in 2021 Speedman says left him in awe of girlfriend Lindsay Rae Hofman. There are photos of himself in a variety of rugged outdoors locales and outfits. And the requisite glossy promo photos for many of his recent projects, each more infectiously chin-dimpled than the next. But do they connote heartthrob-ness? “I’m not sure if I still got that bag," Speedman says. "That’s not up to me.”

The verdict from the show’s diehards is they’re into the pair as an on-screen couple. And that’s pretty high praise, considering that even Speedman himself is well aware of how attached Grey’s fans are to Meredith.

Scott Speedman

Kevin Sinclair

“I don’t really know how [Dr. Marsh] measures up to her past romantic partners. But viewers, especially with her, they’re very protective of that character and whoever she’s linked with,” he shares. “I don’t think I’ve ever done anything with this much fandom. Or maybe, over the years, I just haven’t been doing shows where there’s such a link between the show and their fans and how fierce they are on social media and all that kind of stuff. So, it’s been interesting and fun.”

Season 19 of Grey’s Anatomy premieres on Oct. 6. So, we’ll all have to wait and see how or if things heat up between Nick and Meredith. And while Speedman can’t reveal too much about the pair’s budding love affair, he did tell us all about his real life, both past and present — from the first album he ever bought to red carpet outfit regrets and the story behind his first kiss.

What was the first album you ever owned — and did you get it from the HMV on Yonge Street?

Yeah. I probably would have. It would’ve been Back in Black, AC/DC. No, that’s not true. It was the other one. It was ... The Razors Edge was my first real album by AC/DC.

What made you get that one?

Scott Speedman

Kevin Sinclair

When I was a swimmer, I was always the youngest one and they introduced me to all sorts of things that I wasn’t ready for. But yeah, I remember my mom catching me losing my mind to AC/DC. And she was like, “Wow, things have changed over there.” So, it was pretty funny.

If you were required to spend a thousand dollars today, what would you buy and why?

I’d probably try to buy a ticket to Hawaii or a hotel room in Big Sur. But now, hotel rooms in Big Sur are a thousand dollars, so it doesn’t get you very far. But that’s where I’d go.

Is there any outfit you regret wearing any time in your career?

Oh ... my gosh. Yes. I was really bad. [There were a lot of] really bad choices. I lived out in Silver Lake, so nobody saw a lot of my stuff, like me having my awkward moments, but yeah. I think for the first premiere I went to, I had rips on my jeans and I looked like a slob.

Scott Speedman

Kevin Sinclair

Which premiere was that?

What was it? Oh, man. I can’t pull it right now, but it was ‘98. I was fresh, just getting there. I think K-Russ [Keri Russell] was there, too. And we just look like babies, I look like a slob. She looks great, though.

[Ed. note: It was the WB Summer TCA Press Tour All-Star Party on July 25, 1998. His jeans were tastefully baggy, not ripped. You can see them here.]

What's the last thing you do before you fall asleep?

I’m in a really bad habit of listening to mindless podcasts to turn my brain off. It’s become a habit and anything basketball-related just seems to put me right to sleep. I’m not a great sleeper. I wake up a lot, but that puts me to sleep right away.

Have you had any memorable dreams lately?

Yes, I have. And I have weird, crazy dreams. But I had something recently, I can’t even say what it was, but it was terrible. I want to say what it is, but I can’t because it’s too awful. It was post-event. So, it was one of those terrifying, paranoid dreams. And it was one of those dreams where you wake up and you’re like, “Oh, thank god that didn’t actually happen.”

So, it was vivid?

Oh, yeah. It was super real.

Well, I hope you're OK now!

I’m OK. Everybody’s good.

When was the last time you cried?

Last time I cried — probably around the birth of my daughter. It was a crazy, wild, chaotic experience with the home birth. We did the whole thing.

Scott Speedman

Polaroid Photos by Scott Speedman

That is adorable and now I kind of feel bad for switching gears, but ... what’s your favorite bagel?

Well, we’re big on the everything bagel over here. But we’re in Los Angeles, and there’s a lot of gluten-free bagels. Like, the frozen ones and they’re not great, but we do the best we can.

What’s one dish you’re always tempted to order when you see it on a menu?

Oh, a spaghetti bolognese, but I never do. I eat pretty healthy, but spaghetti bolognese. Anything like that, I’m always tempted to order. When I was growing up as a swimmer, I would order two full plates at a time, sometimes three. You have to eat all of it just to keep the calories going. So, I’m used to eating a lot, but I don’t do it anymore.

Do you still swim a lot?

When I can, yeah. But it’s hard to stay really good at it. With swimming, you lose it really quick, so it’s a bummer. I run more than anything now. And I don’t like being in chlorine anymore — you’re scarred from all the abuse you went through doing it five hours, six hours a day. So, it’s not a fun thing, but yes, when I’m at a hotel with a good pool, definitely.

Who's your favorite villain?

Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man — that’s a really good one. I love him.

Scott Speedman

Polaroid Photos by Scott Speedman

Favorite joke?

Oh, gosh. I don’t know. I would pass on that one. It would get me into too much trouble.

Alright, let's not get canceled. Last one: describe your first kiss.

I was on a swim tour with my team. It was at a motel in Minnesota — funny enough, I play a doctor who is from Minnesota on Grey’s — and my crush at the time, we happened to be at the backside of the hotel, walking around or something and that’s where it happened. I was 12.



Kevin Sinclair, assisted by Iah Bearden-Vrai


Christine Nelli


Scott Speedman. Special thanks to Polaroid.

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